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NHL.com Picks Mid-tourney Awards

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 6:00 PM PT / News
By Staff NHL.COM
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NHL.com Picks Mid-tourney Awards
Phil Kessel is the front-runner for tournament MVP, according to votes cast by the four members of NHL.com\'s Olympic coverage team.


SOCHI, RUSSIA -- Phil Kessel has carried his red-hot play from the NHL season into the 2014 Sochi Olympics to help the United States prove its status as a gold-medal contender. With seven points in three games, the Toronto Maple Leafs right wing not only leads the Olympics in scoring, he is the front-runner for tournament MVP, according to votes cast by the four members of NHL.com's Olympic coverage team.

Kessel received 11 out of a possible 12 points, including three first-place votes, in the very unofficial ballots submitted by Arpon Basu, Corey Masisak, Shawn Roarke and Dan Rosen.

The writers ranked their top three candidates for tournament MVP as well as the best defenseman, best forward, best goalie and the most surprising player. A point system was applied with a first-place vote three points, a second-place vote two points and a third-place vote one point.

The writers also submitted the six players they think belong on the All-Tournament Team through the qualification round. Players received one point for each vote. The three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie who received the most votes made it onto the writers' All-Tournament Team after the qualification round.

Kessel received three first-place votes and one second-place vote for MVP. He was a unanimous selection to the All-Tournament team.

Canada's Drew Doughty, who was voted the best defensemen of the tournament and was second in the MVP voting, also was a unanimous selection to the All-Tournament team. Doughty leads defensemen in scoring with four goals and five points.

Russia center Pavel Datsyuk, second to Kessel in the voting for the best forward, was selected to the All-Tournament team by each of the four writers. Datsyuk has five points on two goals and three assists.

Rounding out the All-Tournament Team were Switzerland goalie Jonas Hiller, U.S. forward Joe Pavelski and Sweden defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Hiller won the best goalie category despite being eliminated from the tournament Tuesday night. He had a 0.67 goals-against average, .970 save percentage and two shutouts in three starts. Switzerland scored three goals in those games.

Pavelski was third in the voting for the best forward and Karlsson was second behind Doughty in the best defensemen category.

The writers struggled to come to any kind of consensus on the most surprising player in the tournament. Three players received first-place votes, with Austria forward Michael Grabner garnering two plus a third-place vote to take the award. Eight players received votes in the most surprising player category.

Grabner leads the Olympics with five goals, but the Austrians were eliminated Tuesday.

MVP

1. Phil Kessel, United States – 11 points (3 first-place votes)

2. Drew Doughty, Canada – 9 points (1 first-place vote)

3. Erik Karlsson (Sweden) and Jonas Hiller (Switzerland) – 2 points

BEST GOALIE

1. Jonas Hiller (Switzerland) – 11 points (3 first-place votes)

2. Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden) – 6 points (1 first-place vote)

3. Jonathan Quick (United States) – 4 points

4. Sergei Bobrovsky (Russia) – 2 points

5. Robert Kristan (Slovenia) – 1 point

BEST DEFENSEMEN

1. Drew Doughty (Canada) – 10 points (2 first-place votes)

2. Erik Karlsson (Sweden) – 7 points (1 first-place vote)

3. Ryan Suter (United States) – 4 points (1 first-place vote)

4. Shea Weber (Canada) – 3 points

BEST FORWARD

1. Phil Kessel (United States) – 12 points (4 first-place votes, unanimous)

2. Pavel Datsyuk (Russia) – 7 points

3. Joe Pavelski (United States) – 3 points

4. Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic) and Anze Kopitar (Slovenia) – 1 point

MOST SURPRISING PLAYER

1. Michael Grabner, Austria – 7 (2 first-place votes)

2. Ziga Jeglic, Slovenia – 4

3. T.J. Oshie, United States – 3 (1 first-place vote)

4. Robert Kristan, Slovenia – 3 (1 first-place vote)

5. Sami Vatanen, Finland – 3

6. Olli Maatta, Finland – 2

7. Evgeny Medvedev (Russia) and Tomas Kaberle (Czech Republic) – 1

ALL-OLYMPIC TEAM

G: Jonas Hiller (3 out of 4 votes)

D: Drew Doughty (4 out of 4 votes)

D: Erik Karlsson (2 out of 4 votes)

F: Phil Kessel (4 out of 4 votes)

F: Pavel Datsyuk (4 out of 4 votes)

F: Joe Pavelski (2 out of 4 votes)

Other receiving votes: Henrik Lundqvist (1), Shea Weber (1), Ryan Suter (1), Anze Kopitar (1), Jaromir Jagr (1)

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 76 36 31 9 67
L. Couture 76 25 37 -4 62
J. Thornton 72 14 48 -5 62
B. Burns 76 16 40 -6 56
P. Marleau 76 17 36 -17 53
T. Wingels 69 15 20 -5 35
T. Hertl 76 12 17 -2 29
M. Nieto 66 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
J. Braun 65 1 22 6 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
A. Stalock 7 7 2 .905 2.55
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